Tutorial: Painting the color 'white'

by Massive Voodoo

Heyho Voodoo People,

this week's tutorial voting saw a really not so close contest between Azog and the color 'white'.
27 people voted, which we are thankful of. Azog recieved an overall score of 4 votes, while the color 'white' recieved 21. We'd call that a decision. The winner is:

If you want to keep track with an overview on what has happened so far in MV's year of the painter 2
please check this link!

Roman will now take care of the article, 
but before we'd like to tell you something:
You see Massive Voodoo is preparing such articles in the long run. Planning ahead of the actual work on our workbenches. Such an article is a lot of work in terms of preparations:

- Paintjob
- collecting photos over many steps during the work on the project
- thoughts
- photoediting
- putting practical exercise into the good understandable words
- break the topic down for explanations 
- and the final write up 

Overall you can say that for example doing this article Roman works for about 3 to 4 hours, without the actual painting time on the figures. Roman is teaching from the heart, he would not ask for money when it comes to the spirit of Massive Voodoo, which is: writing articles and tutorials, but Roman drinks a lot of coffee and if you want to say thanks for the time spent on this, consider this:
You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

let's go for the color 'white'.

Before you are allowed to read on 
- this is serious and if you take miniature painting serious you read on now instead of looking only at photos, this article is no comic book -  ... again, before you are allowed to read on, you have to check back with the article Roman already wrote about painting the color 'black'. Read it, make your thoughts understand the content. Then read on with ...


Well, everybody struggles in painting specific colours one day or the other. White is one of such colours. First, let me tell you something that could make you go sad: You won't find a colour recipe for painting white in this article. Instead this article tries to explain to you what you have to take care of while painting a specific colour. This article is trying to give you the knowledge on how to build a ship on your own instead of telling you how to chop wood for a ship that might be build by someone else. This being said let Roman tell you, if you read this article properly and give it a try you will learn forever to paint your whites interesting. Really. If you do not read properly and give it some proper thoughts and time to sink in your whites will stay just boring whites.

Why is there no perfect colour recipe for painting white?
Well, easy answer. White is not just white. Never. White is something really strange and interesting to be observed and to be painted. Important article series on how you can learn miniature painting and understand colors from your own observation is this article:

Tutorial: Visual Studying - Learning to see and paint

You need your eyes and your brain to understand what is happening with color, so let's have a look together on some photos of daily life "supposed-to-be-whites":

Example #1: 
Our brains say: white. If you pick out the tones you will never find pure white in this sign.
BTW this sign is standing for something, check it out here and listen to the right song to it.
Soon we will have an update for you on this topic too! 

Example #2:
Again, our brains recognize this church tower or even the piece of fabric on the balcony the truck as white. It ain't as you can after the colors were picked out.

One crazy example is the color of the snow in this photo. Done by night, by Roman after work and heading home from the studio. We all know Snow is supposed to be white, not yellow. Yellow snow is bad. Honestly, check what atmosphere made with the snow's color in this particular moment:

White has many faces. 
They are a result on how light and shadow, atmosphere and daytime play on it, but before we go deeper on this Roman likes to show you how he recently studied the topic for himself. The bust is an old sculpt by Romain van den Bogeart, done for the "Help Japan - Box" in 20011.

Roman painted it once already, but recently he was really, really, really unhappy with the paintjob from back then and just primed him again. Without stripping him. It is a small bust and Roman wanted to show Michael, a student he had in private coaching that it takes some balls to prime a finished project and start all over again, but it can be done.

1. Applying an off-white base tone.
Off-white means a white with a gentle brise and touch of another color, not only grey but ... well, you can call it a colored bright grey. Does this make sense?

2. Throwing in color play.
No need to this on your own, or in this intensity, but that's the Roman on the brush. This was done by mainly adding stronger and different colored off-whites here and there. Roman will not speak about texture here, this article is just about the color.

3. Failing in pulling it all togethe,
by using the airbrush to spray a thin glaze. If Roman's airbrush would be cleaned regularly this result would not be so sprinkled, but nevermind this makes the white being pulled together once again.

4. Not a problem,
with the failed airbrush work - everything happens for a reason. Roman just needed to paint back the whites on top. So as you can see kind of pure white is only used to paint final highlights on top of the overall white looking fabric.

This bust will soon be finished by Roman, at this stage it is not fully done. Stay tuned.

Well, back on whites. 
If you would paint white with the typical recipe you think works best you would work only with grey tones and white. Your result will always look like this:

... but like Roman said: White has many faces. 
White is so superbright, that it adapts atmosphere influance, light colors even more than black. White changes faster, looks different than pure white quicker. Think about the many faces of white when you paint yours the next time:

Funny thing for Roman recently was encountering this color by P3,
 named "Menoth White Base".Ok, from its name Roman understands that it is supposed the color you start your whites on Privateer Press' Menoth models. Good. Great. If you build up whites from this you will have a definatly colored white there. Influanced by a sand colored touch. On your gaming models this might not matter, but for display painting you might be able to add this information to your atmospheric project thoughts.

Well, you all should know by now that Roman is not truely painting in color recipes. Roman works his way through a paintjob by observing the real thing and tries to copy it in terms of painting. No color names are needed in this. Just a skill to observe, understand, analyse colors and remix them and use them in the right way on your project. Roman's way. He does not say this is the best way, but it's his.

Some examples on Work in Progress stuff from Roman's table 
- preparing and painting whites. Wild paintwork, rough, color joy, some short explanations to each of them:

Basic color plans, rough sketch on Zhork-Seth's polar bear fur ...

End result on this one ...
and good news, expect a step by step of this paintjob in MV's future of the year of the painter 2. 

Speaking about whites, Azog has to be on the train. White preparations on Azog. Roman is already looking forward to see this step by step win one day.

Directly from the table, Roman starting an off-white on the skin of this Khorne guy. Expect  a full step by step on this one in MV's year of the painter 2. Cool, eh?

This WIP is already going far, here is an actual photo of its state right now:

Another WIP from Roman's table.
White again, basesketch of his skintone, but well, definatly not pure white. All off.

If you are interested in checking back with Roman's Work in Progress stuff,
check this link to his facebook Artist page.

Another Work in Progress going in white directions ...

Hon, who recently painted some very atmospheric work in a three day MV private coaching with Roman and Raffa on a bust by Fer Miniatures - that's supposed to be white armour, in a very atmospheric setting.

Allright, again whites. This time on "Find your way". 
Roman just decided to give no more explanations aobut this particular example. Just look at the colors used. Observe. Think.

End result on this one:
Well, whites are kind of the same like blacks. There is something you can learn by observing the real thing in this world and Roman does not speak about walking nature with the Pokemon app. Use your brain as your app and learn to see and paint :)

Important facts:
- Do not paint white in white only
- try to start with a colorful-bright-grey
- add pure white only for final highlights

Of course this article might not tell you all about the color white. For example it does not give you any insight into the physical rules that appear with light and shadow, why white changes like it does and such, but it tells you something to get more interested in this topic. If you are check www.google.com for additional information. Learn to learn and study.

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes

PS: What color shall we speak of next?
Yellow? Red? Pink? Blue? Chocolate? Let us know in the comments ...
You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.


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